Dismissed Partner sues Holland & Knight for Fraud and $200 Million in damages

In 1 on January 16, 2009 at 1:33 pm

The end of John K. Weir's career at Holland & Knight arrived on his Connecticut doorstep the Saturday morning of Nov. 16, 2002, in an express mail envelope.

The enclosed memo from firm General Counsel L. Kinder Cannon stated that Weir, a partner at Holland & Knight and its New York predecessor for over 20 years, was expelled from the firm retroactive to Nov. 4, 2002. He was instructed to never again return to the Manhattan office he had left the evening before at 6 p.m.

Weir says he left behind active client files as well as a desk, chairs and lamps given to him by his late mother. He says he later found out his office furniture was distributed among other lawyers at the firm.

"I wouldn't say it had great monetary value," he said in an interview, "but in terms of sentimental value to me, it was priceless."

*           *           *

Weir is suing the 1,300-lawyer firm in Manhattan federal court, with the alleged misappropriation forming the basis of civil claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act. First filed last November, the suit also claims age discrimination, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and fraud among its 11 counts. Weir, who is representing himself, is asking for more than $200 million in damages.

*           *           *

In his complaint, Weir states that several partners left Haight Gardner at that time and he himself secured an offer to join the partnership of a New Jersey firm. He said he finally decided to join the merger after he was promised he could remain an equity partner at Holland & Knight until at least age 62. He also claims he was told he would be given an opportunity to lead a national labor and employment practice.

The opportunity never materialized, the suit claims, and other opportunities to participate in firm management over the next two years were also denied Weir, despite direct requests to then-managing partner William McBride. Weir claims his exclusion from firm management negatively impacted his compensation during this time.

NEW YORK LAW JOURNAL – Anthony Lin Source

Posted via email from HKLaw Investigation


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